South Africa probes extremism element in mosque attack

South Africa's elite police unit says it is investigating an "element of extremism" in the deadly mosque attack in which three people's throats were slit after midday prayers.

Hawks spokesman Simphiwe Mhlongo told The Associated Press that "you can see elements of hatred to a certain religion" in Thursday's attack in the mosque's worship space.

But Mhlongo says police cannot yet say whether the assault on the Imam Hussein mosque in the eastern town of Verulam, just north of Durban, can be called a terror attack.

He says police cannot confirm reports that the three attackers were Egyptian. They are still at large.

Mhlongo says two victims are still hospitalized.

A representative of the mosque has blamed "fanatics" and says they plan to go ahead with Friday prayers.